Lancashire Police launched Operation Nexus at the beginning of the year following a rise in the number of serious violent incidents, which the majority, they say stemming from drug related activity and the fallout from the different groups involved.
During the Operation's first phase in March Police made 16 arrests, seized several thousands of pounds and the recovered of large quantities of drugs and numerous weapons.
Police carried out the second phase of activity this week with officers carrying out warrants at several addresses in the Preston area, making a total of nine arrests.
All of those nine people have since been charged with conspiracy to supply a class A controlled drugs (Cocaine and Heroin). They are:
Linford Baron, 26 of St Marks Road, Wendy Baron, 46 of Mardale Road, Kieron Killeen, 29, of Bowness Road, Wayne Jackson, 58 of Bowness Road, Mohammed Sulaman Khan, 47 of Ribbleton Lane, Leanne Mclaughlin, 26 of Dodgson Road, Ben Hartley, 18 of Lynn Place, Matthew Carberry, 18 of Dundonald Street and a 17 year old boy, also from Preston.
Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Holgate said; “We launched a second phase of this operation to send a clear message to those who may be involved in organised crime that we will not sit back and tolerate this sort of activity in our City and on our streets.
“Although this is another seemingly short burst of activity, we want to be clear that there is always work going on behind the scenes. We will continue to work with our communities and partners build and work on our intelligence to constantly target those that may be involved in drugs supply, as well as the violence and anti-social behaviour that comes hand in hand with drug dealing so we can protect and keep safe the most vulnerable in our city.”
The operation was supported by officers from all departments including Immediate Response, Neighbourhood Teams and Operational Support Units and our Dog Unit.
Police say the activity is also closely supported by their Early Action Teams and several partner agencies. Along with enforcement, they say they are clear that they have a responsibility to ensure that those who are potentially involved in, or are on the periphery of this activity, are supported by the relevant agencies.
DCI Holgate continued; “As we have said before, we hope that by carrying out this activity, not only will we be able to disrupt and deal with those who may be involved, but that we can warn and educate young people about the consequences of going down the same path.
“It’s also really important that as part of this work, communities feel stronger and more empowered to do what they can to prevent serious organised crime from becoming the community norm.”
Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner added, "Those in areas affected by drug related and organised crime know that it is a blight on whole communities – operations like this show that the police continually take action against these criminals.
"No stone is left unturned in stopping criminal gangs and the range of specialist officers and different police teams involved in this operation shows that frontline policing is much more than just the traditional bobby on the beat.
"Information from the public plays a vital role in supporting our officers' hard work and determination to keep the public safe. I would urge anyone with any concerns or information to report them to the police through 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."
Any information can be passed to police via 101 or anonymously by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.